July 17, 2011 – NY Woodstock KTD
On the road that leads through the upstate New York town of Woodstock, a huge quilted sign hangs high, proclaiming: Welcome Home! His Holiness the 17th Karmapa was indeed welcomed back to his North American seat this afternoon, for a joyful second visit. (His Holiness first visited Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD), located in Woodstock, during his trip to America in 2008.
With the sun high overhead on this bright summer day, a long line of retreat lamas, monks and nuns formed a golden procession to welcome His Holiness back to his home in North America. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche led members of the KTD and KTC communities to offer His Holiness a ceremonial welcome with tea and rice, as well as mandala offering and extensive prayers.
On behalf of the entire KTD community, KTD Executive Director Mark Rothe made a brief speech warmly greeting the Gyalwang Karmapa. Mark Rothe noted that although His Holiness has many homes all around the world, he hoped that his home at KTD would be a place where His Holiness could enjoy himself and extend his activities, in the knowledge that KTD is a place where people care deeply for the Dharma and care deeply for His Holiness.
When the ceremony concluded, His Holiness left the shrine room, but the rest of the gathering lingered enjoying the long-anticipated reunion, before returning with renewed enthusiasm to the task of preparing for tomorrow’s events under the tent.